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In 1975, Angola was tumbling into pandemonium; everyone who could was packing crates, desperate to abandon the beleaguered colony. With his trademark bravura, Ryszard Kapuscinski went the other way, begging his was from Lisbon and comfort to Luanda--once famed as Africa's Rio de Janeiro--and chaos. Angola, a slave colony later given over to mining and plantations, was a promised land for generations of poor Portuguese. It had belonged to Portugal since before there were English-speakers in North America. After the collapse of the fascist dictatorship in Portugal in 1974, Angola was brusquely cut loose, spurring the catastrophe of a still-ongoing civil war. Kapuscinski plunged right into the middle of the drama, driving past thousands of haphazardly placed check-points, where using the wrong shibboleth was a matter of life and death; recording his imporessions of the young soldiers--from Cuba, Angola, South Africa, Portugal--fighting a nebulous war with global repercussions; and examining the peculiar brutality of a country surprised and divided by its newfound freedom. Translated from the Polish by William R. Brand and Katarzyna Mroczkowska-Brand.
En junio de 1969, Honduras y El Salvador se enfrentaron por la clasificación para el Mundial que se celebraría al año siguiente en México en dos polémicos partidos que acabaron degenerando en un conflicto fronterizo, pronto bautizado como «la guerra del fútbol». Ryszard Kapuscinski, el mejor periodista del siglo XX que entre 1958 y 1976 recorrió las zonas más conflictivas del planeta, llegó a Tegucigalpa horas antes de que estallara la guerra y dejó para la historia un reportaje mítico sobre los cinco días de enfrentamientos.«Kapuscinski es una de la figuras prototípicas de este siglo, el disidente errante que está siempre del lado de la liberación, pero que debe encontrar la manera de burlar a los censores.»Christopher Hitchens, Newsday«Kapuscinski trasciende los límites del periodismo y escribe con el vigor narrativo de un Conrad, un Kipling, un Orwell.»Blake Morrison, Bookseller«Kapuscinski es el extraordinario nigromante del reportaje moderno y La guerra del futbol es un extraordinario ejemplo de su magia.»John Le Carré«La guerra del futbol es ¡Noticia bomba! reescrita por Hemingway, y debe figurar en toda antología de escritos sobre la guerra.»The Listener
Ryszard Kapuscinski's last book, The Soccer War -a revelation of the contemporary experience of war -- prompted John le Carre to call the author "the conjurer extraordinary of modern reportage." Now, in Imperium, Kapuscinski gives us a work of equal emotional force and evocative power: a personal, brilliantly detailed exploration of the almost unfathomably complex Soviet empire in our time.He begins with his own childhood memories of the postwar Soviet occupation of Pinsk, in what was then Poland's eastern frontier ("something dreadful and incomprehensible...in this world that I enter at seven years of age"), and takes us up to 1967, when, as a journalist just starting out, he traveled across a snow-covered and desolate Siberia, and through the Soviet Union's seven southern and Central Asian republics, territories whose individual histories, cultures, and religions he found thriving even within the "stiff, rigorous corset of Soviet power."Between 1989 and 1991, Kapuscinski made a series of extended journeys through the disintegrating Soviet empire, and his account of these forms the heart of the book. Bypassing official institutions and itineraries, he traversed the Soviet territory alone, from the border of Poland to the site of the most infamous gulags in far-eastern Siberia (where "nature pals it up with the executioner"), from above the Arctic Circle to the edge of Afghanistan, visiting dozens of cities and towns and outposts, traveling more than 40,000 miles, venturing into the individual lives of men, women, and children in order to Understand the collapsing but still various larger life of the empire.Bringing the book to a close is a collection of notes which, Kapuscinski writes, "arose in the margins of my journeys" -- reflections on the state of the ex-USSR and on his experience of having watched its fate unfold "on the screen of a television set...as well as on the screen of the country's ordinary, daily reality, which surrounded me during my travels." It is this "schizophrenic perception in two different dimensions" that enabled Kapuscinski to discover and illuminate the most telling features of a society in dire turmoil.Imperium is a remarkable work from one of the most original and sharply perceptive interpreters of our world -- galvanizing narrative deeply informed by Kapuscinski's limitless curiosity and his passion for truth, and suffused with his vivid sense of the overwhelming importance of history as it is lived, and of our constantly shifting places within it.
A moving portrait of Africa from Poland's most celebrated foreign correspondent - a masterpiece from a modern master.Famous for being in the wrong places at just the right times, Ryszard Kapuscinski arrived in Africa in 1957, at the beginning of the end of colonial rule - the "sometimes dramatic and painful, sometimes enjoyable and jubilant" rebirth of a continent. The Shadow of the Sun sums up the author's experiences ("the record of a 40-year marriage") in this place that became the central obsession of his remarkable career.From the hopeful years of independence through the bloody disintegration of places like Nigeria, Rwanda and Angola, Kapuscinski recounts great social and political changes through the prism of the ordinary African. He examines the rough-and-ready physical world and identifies the true geography of Africa: a little-understood spiritual universe, an African way of being. He looks also at Africa in the wake of two epoch-making changes: the arrival of AIDS and the definitive departure of the white man.Kapuscinski's rare humanity invests his subjects with a grandeur and a dignity unmatched by any other writer on the Third World, and his unique ability to discern the universal in the particular has never been more powerfully displayed than in this work.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Part diary and part reportage, The Soccer War is a remarkable chronicle of war in the late twentieth century. Between 1958 and 1980, working primarily for the Polish Press Agency, Kapuscinski covered twenty-seven revolutions and coups in Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East. Here, with characteristic cogency and emotional immediacy, he recounts the stories behind his official press dispatches--searing firsthand accounts of the frightening, grotesque, and comically absurd aspects of life during war. The Soccer War is a singular work of journalism.
From the renowned journalist comes this intimate account of his years in the field, traveling for the first time beyond the Iron Curtain to India, China, Ethiopia, and other exotic locales.In the 1950s, Ryszard Kapuscinski finished university in Poland and became a foreign correspondent, hoping to go abroad - perhaps to Czechoslovakia. Instead, he was sent to India - the first stop on a decades-long tour of the world that took Kapuscinski from Iran to El Salvador, from Angola to Armenia. Revisiting his memories of traveling the globe with a copy of Herodotus' Histories in tow, Kapuscinski describes his awakening to the intricacies and idiosyncrasies of new environments, and how the words of the Greek historiographer helped shape his own view of an increasingly globalized world. Written with supreme eloquence and a constant eye to the global undercurrents that have shaped the last half-century, Travels with Herodotus is an exceptional chronicle of one man's journey across continents.From the Trade Paperback edition.
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